In the course of his sermon, Garry mentioned that today is known traditionally as ‘Gaudete Sunday’ (pronounced Gow-day-tay, since he asked). ‘Gaudete’ is simply the Latin for ‘Rejoice!’ In past times, when the services were conducted entirely in Latin, the service on the 3rd Sunday in Advent would begin by quoting from Phil 4:4-6 TNIV (‘rejoice in the Lord always’ which in Latin is ‘gaudete in Domino semper.’)
I am old enough to remember the group Steeleye Span who performed a song named ‘Gaudete’ entirely in Latin. The chorus says ‘gaudete, gaudete, Christus est natus ex Maria virgine, gaudete’ which means ‘rejoice, rejoice, Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, rejoice.’ I have to say this made sense of all the Latin I studied at school and fitted with this Advent theme, so you can listen to this below.
‘Gaudete’, Steeleye Span
My other favourite song which uses the Latin for ‘rejoice’ is ‘Gaudeamus igitur’ (‘Therefore let us rejoice’). The video here has English sub-titles as well as the Latin lyrics, so you can be truly educated as you listen to this one!
It really doesn’t matter what language we rejoice in. What matters is that we do indeed rejoice in the Lord always and remember the many reasons we have to rejoice!